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News and Commentary On Newcastle United By Ed Harrison, A Proud Exiled Geordie And Lifelong Fan

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Howay The Lads!!

Newcastle So Lucky To Have Benitez’ Class And Ambition

12:29 pm, Thursday, September 8th, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 55 Comments

Newcastle are a lucky club to have a manager as good as Rafa Benitez in charge, not just because he is obviously one of the best in the world,  but that he stayed with us even when we were relegated.

That’s something that non world-class players like Moussa Sissoko, Gini Wijnaldum, Andros Townsend and Daryl Janmaat did not do and they all left for Premier League clubs in the summer.

It was obviously important to them to continue to play in the Premier League than to play for a world-class manager – but that was a valid choice they had.

rafa benitez closeup in cap

Rafa Benitez – Newcastle manager

Notice that wasn’t the case for new boys Mohamed Diane, Matt Ritchie and Dwight Gayle who all left Premier league clubs to join the Rafa revolution at Newcastle.

So we now know we have players who want to be at Newcastle and that’s always a good thing.

By staying at the club Rafa showed he is completely committed to Newcastle and it cannot be easy for him with all the publicity in the national press almost exclusively about Premier League clubs.

Rafa has so far done a brilliant job since he decided to stay on at the second division club (ouch!) and the summer transfer dealings were just fabulous.

He cleared out the deadwood that should have been done long ago and seems sensible the way he does things with the club always coming first in priority – before the players.

That’s the way it should be and he even seems to be creating a very good working relationship with Managing Director Lee Charnley that delivered the goods in the summer.

Lee has been given credit for doing all the spade work in the summer when he arranged all the many deals for players coming into and players leaving the club.

He deserves that praise.

We’re sure Rafa expected at least a few of the high profile players to stay with him down below, since hopefully it’s just for one season, but they all bolted.

But Rafa seems to be enjoying life on Tyneside and it was really amazing that he invited  some fans to the Benton training grounds on Tuesday and gave them a tour, showed them the improvements he had done over the summer and even went through a tactical session on how to defend set plays.

Certainly Fans Forum member Taylor Payne was still coming down to earth when he tweeted exactly what had happened.

Rafa seems to love the job he has and likes nothing better than to talk about football and in that respect at least – he reminds us of Sir Bobby Robson.

It’s still going to be a tough grind for us this season and with so many new players in the squad it could still take time for them to settle and gel.

It’s not going to be easy – we know that – especially after the disasters of the last three seasons.

But we also wanted to take the time to point out that it cannot have been easy for Rafa to stay on board either.

We really appreciate that he stayed and that we now have a top manager at the club.

Everything is suddenly so different this season.

Howay The Lads!!

Comments welcome.

Tags: Championship · Coaching · Management · Newcastle News · Premier League

55 responses so far ↓

  • 1 NUFC FOR SALE // Sep 8, 2016 at 12:36 PM

    Rafa was the best signing any club in europe did this summer

    Regardless of which players we signed, Rafa deciding to stay on was the best news we could have ever of hoped for.

    The way he has fully immersed himself into the club, changing all aspects of how we are ran goes to show the guys class.

    The transfer window has been nothing short of miraculous.

    Don’t think anyone would deny that the squad we had from the Premier League would have got bettered in the championship.

    To get rid of all that dead wood and bring in good quality players…..unbelievable

    Its a shame we got relegated because this is the first time in 4/5 years we have a team that looks like they would do a job in the Derby against the scum….proper derby roll your sleeves up type players

  • 2 Laurent Robert 32 // Sep 8, 2016 at 12:37 PM

    It’s great that Rafa is here. There’s a real plan and purpose in place. Really looking forward to Saturday.

  • 3 WWSBRD // Sep 8, 2016 at 12:39 PM

    I mean come on going after my blog moniker when urs is Hail for Ashley…need I say more?

    I didn’t claim to be a goalkeeping expert now did I? However my opinion on a player is no less valid just because u disagree. U can throw Rafas name around to try and add weight behind ur thoughts but unless Rafa had never made a mistake (he has) or never signed a bad player (he has) my opinion isn’t or eh wrong

  • 4 Blackley and Brownlie // Sep 8, 2016 at 12:41 PM

    Howay man, Ed. All these fine words of praise and flattery is piling the pressure on poor Rafa. Let’s save it till the end of the season or we’ll have nothing original left.

  • 5 Tsunki // Sep 8, 2016 at 12:41 PM

    Have I ever done jury service, Ian? What kind of abstract enquiry is that? Is this in response to my “srborist” question?

    Whatever – you’ve stated your case that those fans who were dissatisfied enough with the prior “efforts” of the club hierarchy to cent their dissatisfaction were aligned with being disgusting hooligans, and then you got Jimmy to back you to the holy with his deprecating “horse-punchers” analogy of an undisclosed core of supporters.

    You’re obviously, as well stated already, in a state of isolation and disconnect and evidently don’t see your spurious raconteuse as being anything more than a dated and skewed commentary on a club far, far, away. And you are an unashamed sleaze ball trying to bolster that offset crank vision by inventing multiple personas. it’s all about…you…and………you…isn’t it?

  • 6 m1c4a3l // Sep 8, 2016 at 12:41 PM

    Is there anyone on here going to QPR with two spare tickets by any chance?

  • 7 Blackley and Brownlie // Sep 8, 2016 at 12:45 PM

    I can’t help but feel that you thoroughly delighted in writing that post to Ian @5. I don’t know what it is. I can’t put my finger on it. Just something about it.

  • 8 Blackley and Brownlie // Sep 8, 2016 at 12:47 PM

    Keep them coming Tsunki and Ian. Very entertaining when you’re trying to kill some time in Costa before a 2pm kick off.

  • 9 Blackley and Brownlie // Sep 8, 2016 at 12:55 PM

    When you blow smoke up someone’s arse or even canonise them, especially before they’ve achieved anything for you, it makes it much harder to criticise them when criticism is due. When you fail to slate them for poor performance because you’ve put them on a pedestal, you lose credibility. Keep it real for Rafa.

  • 10 sussextoon // Sep 8, 2016 at 12:57 PM


    I have one spare if that helps?

  • 11 Jail for Ashley // Sep 8, 2016 at 12:57 PM

    Thought you’d be more of a real ale drinker than a coffee man.

  • 12 Jail for Ashley // Sep 8, 2016 at 1:04 PM

    Don’t you think a UEFA elite manager deserves canonising for taking on this rudderless ship clouded in gloom with a crew of want away dead souls. The lift he has given the places affords him total respect.

  • 13 Blackley and Brownlie // Sep 8, 2016 at 1:06 PM

    I used to love a real ale but alcohol just doesn’t agree with me as I get older. I get a bad head next day after a pint or two. And none of the gorgeous rush I used to get on an empty stomach. Alcohol changes my personality as it does with everyone. Not in a bad way in my case but it’s not in a way that appeals to me. A large latte gives me a buzz as well as a calm.

  • 14 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Sep 8, 2016 at 1:09 PM

    I must admit I enjoy a large latte myself, although i fo also likr a few p8nts from time to time.

  • 15 m1c4a3l // Sep 8, 2016 at 1:09 PM

    Hi Sussex. Cheers for the offer bud the only thing is I was looking for two ideally as my younger brother was looking to go as well. Thanks again though.

  • 16 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Sep 8, 2016 at 1:09 PM

    And this touch screen makes it seem like I just had a few pints.

  • 17 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Sep 8, 2016 at 1:11 PM

    That should have read “Do also like a few pints from time to time”

  • 18 Jail for Ashley // Sep 8, 2016 at 1:12 PM

    So how many had you drank that day you dressed as a parrot and done your funky chicken dance on the Gallowgate steps?

  • 19 brklyngeordie // Sep 8, 2016 at 1:13 PM

    To Chancel & Expat from previous thread:

    Yea that is Albanian Chancel where may I ask how u know?

    And to Expat w/o giving it away- B.B.

  • 20 Blackley and Brownlie // Sep 8, 2016 at 1:14 PM

    Fair play to Rafa. I think we’re all to a man 100% behind him. But he’s still got to perform. If he’s not performing, the fans should be free to criticise. It foesn’t mean we’re not backing him 100%. We expect he’ll get many things wrong. It’s just great that we’ve got a manager that we can all support because we’ve got confidence in him.

    Just reading Novocastrians post from earlier, and I remember well so many fans saying we would never get a top manager to this club while Ashley is here. Pardew was the best we could get so we should get right behind him. I was laughed at and ridiculed relentlessly when I argued top managers would walk over hot coals to manage this club whether or not Ashley is here.

  • 21 Average_Contents // Sep 8, 2016 at 1:23 PM


    Did you do that chicken dance with latte in hand?


  • 22 hibbit // Sep 8, 2016 at 1:37 PM


    who you watching today ???

    enjoyed the highlights hudd/forest the boy looks a handful filled out a lot and uses his body a lot more
    think its a bit of a shame they never let him go out on loan to div 1 could have got some handy playing time but i suppose forest know best !!


  • 23 bettyswallocks // Sep 8, 2016 at 1:39 PM

    Jail. You forgot to mention that he was spraying seeds everywhere whilst saying who’s a clever boy then. Still cracks me up when I get the vision.

  • 24 BandB // Sep 8, 2016 at 1:40 PM


    Were you laughed at and ridiculed endlessly?
    I can’t ever remember you getting so much attention.

  • 25 Jib // Sep 8, 2016 at 1:43 PM

    Blackley and Brownley
    I remember you posting that.

    One of the rare occasions you and I agreed.

    The demonising of Ashley has no effect at all on potntial managers.
    Pep Guardiola is a great humanitarian and was key in getting Barcelona involved with UNESCO but now he works for the UAE who’s human rights record (esp for women ) is atrocious.
    On my visits to SJP I always thought this epitomised the fans feelings towards Pardew.
    No matter how much the foto is cropped and trimmed by the Mag you can sense the PardewOut goons were very much in the minority -very vocal – but not at all reprsentative of the feelings of the main body of fans

  • 26 Blackley and Brownlie // Sep 8, 2016 at 2:00 PM

    Aye, the lad has filled out since last season. Very strong. If they’re not letting him out on loan, it could be a sign he’s too valuable and they want to invest their coaching time in him. He looks a real prospect to me.

    I’m at the John Smiths. Huddersfield v Bristol City u23s.

  • 27 Blackley and Brownlie // Sep 8, 2016 at 2:01 PM

    It was mainly on the other blog.

  • 28 hibbit // Sep 8, 2016 at 2:08 PM

    Blackley and Brownlie

    was that you in the yellow jacket in the disabled area in front of the east stand at the Brighton game ??
    can’t be two jackets like that about

  • 29 BandB // Sep 8, 2016 at 2:08 PM


    I do agree with you though.
    It was never a case of whether a decent manager would come here, but whether Ashley would ever attempt to hire one.

  • 30 Ron Knee // Sep 8, 2016 at 2:09 PM

    ‘Whose’ not ‘who’s’.

  • 31 hibbit // Sep 8, 2016 at 2:11 PM

    Blackley and Brownlie

    what do you think of James Thorne
    ben raves about him ?

  • 32 Jib // Sep 8, 2016 at 2:16 PM

    I thought it looked wrong when I typed it.

  • 33 Jib // Sep 8, 2016 at 2:18 PM

    could be short for “who have a human rights record”

  • 34 Ron Knee // Sep 8, 2016 at 2:22 PM


    It’s called ‘professional deformation’, in my case.

  • 35 Tsunki // Sep 8, 2016 at 2:23 PM

    And predictably Jib throws his hat into the ring to add weight to the axis of disparagement. it’s a club of sneering elitism that belittles fans that have enough passion to urge change rather than sit on their hands and admire an exploitative tat merchant playing at football club owner.

  • 36 Jail for Ashley // Sep 8, 2016 at 2:38 PM

    No decent manager would have worked for Ashley before the threat of a second relegation made him finally realise that his zombification of the club was leading to disaster. This is why second rate managers chosen from the last chance saloon were sought after. There would have been an eight year deal given to McCardew III If he’d delivered the behind closed doors league position.

  • 37 Griff-toon // Sep 8, 2016 at 2:47 PM


    I agree with you.

    The culture of the club has been gradually changed for the worst. To a loosing mentality. It boggles the mind why they publicaly said we would not go for any cups and only focus on a mid table finish. If that type of culture does not suck all the motivation out of you as a player I dont know what will. Changing the culture of the club back to what it was takes time. And Rafa is doing a good jobb doing it. Getting ridd of the players here and bringing in new ones accellerated that prosess.

  • 38 Jail for Ashley // Sep 8, 2016 at 2:54 PM

    It was the only truthful statement they made in eight years, for such professional liars, you’re right the mind boggles as to why they were truthful about that particular matter. It would have been so much easier to say “we’d love to win a cup” then all the die hard Ashley fans who started to doubt after the no cups statement could have said of course they want to win cups, they said so!

  • 39 Jib // Sep 8, 2016 at 2:55 PM

    I see the tat merchant acknowledged his exploitative practics at Shirebrook yesterday and pledged to alter them.
    You’re doing a Jail and adding stuff to what was stated by the club.
    The cup situation is well recorded – however mid table was never mentioned as a permanent target by the club .

  • 40 Jail for Ashley // Sep 8, 2016 at 3:00 PM

    Ah Jib,
    You say I twisted the statement about not wanting to win anything, what was it we were trying to win then if cups were off limits.

  • 41 Blackley and Brownlie // Sep 8, 2016 at 3:03 PM

    Thorn is the big, strong winger, yeah? He looks well developed. To be fair, all of the Forest lads look handy. How old is he?

  • 42 Jail for Ashley // Sep 8, 2016 at 3:04 PM

    Mid table wasn’t mentioned Jib, but we were told that fifth was over achieving and there was a bonus fore tenth. Not rocket science is it Jib.

  • 43 Griff-toon // Sep 8, 2016 at 3:04 PM


    Maby not permanent. But im sure they said that 10th place was the target?

    That added to the no cups isnt very motivating. Hence why we could planely see players loosing intrest (pardewed)

  • 44 Jail for Ashley // Sep 8, 2016 at 3:08 PM

    Off out to drink with Bulgarian journos and talk footy are we jibberish?

  • 45 Jib // Sep 8, 2016 at 3:12 PM

    I always read that overachieving comment as meaning that the club had got a little ahead of itself in its long term aims.
    I know it all went tits up in fairly short order but I don’t believe underachieving was ever a club policy.

  • 46 Jail for Ashley // Sep 8, 2016 at 3:16 PM

    There was never any intention of getting fifth ever again. They made sure of it by making a very deliberate decision after finishing fifth. You do not order the builders to tear the roof off they ring to tell you they’ve finished your house ahead of schedule.

  • 47 defenders needed // Sep 8, 2016 at 3:22 PM

    Number 7 shirt given to a full back, that’s an unusual number to be given to a full back

  • 48 Tsunki // Sep 8, 2016 at 3:26 PM

    Yeah jib it didn’t take much to get him to that point did it?

  • 49 Tsunki // Sep 8, 2016 at 3:27 PM

    He has to be an authority on modern history the way he freely interprets it. 🙂

  • 50 davetoon // Sep 8, 2016 at 3:30 PM

    Think going after Benitez was probably also a lot to do with Charnley keeping his job

  • 51 Tsunki // Sep 8, 2016 at 3:31 PM

    Davetoon, picture a bear. In the woods.

  • 52 Griff-toon // Sep 8, 2016 at 3:42 PM


    In this article The club stressed the inhability to match the top six teams and that we would be the best United pound for pound. And that outside the top six we could not go for cups

  • 53 clinath@ed // Sep 8, 2016 at 3:54 PM

    Facebook is full of pictures showing a new statue goin up outside St James’. Its under wraps but looks like Shearers’s famous goal scoring celebration.
    Is this for real? Anybody got any more info?

  • 54 simon376 // Sep 8, 2016 at 4:07 PM

    I’ve said it before on here, I was never Pardews biggest fan, but I think sometimes the phrase Pawdewed isn’t right. I mentioned a relative of mine is a friend and former colleague of his. He met up with him just before a cup game a couple of years back, he told him he had to play the reserves in the cup as had to get knocked out first go. My relative advised against it saying if if you just got to Wembley never mind win it, would give fans a day out and be loved. He said would love that but under orders to get knocked out.

  • 55 Jib // Sep 8, 2016 at 4:07 PM

    old news this like

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